The prospect of a new romance excites and entices us with its constant twists and turns. During the blissful first phase of a new relationship, you may truly believe your “happily ever after” isn’t too far away after all. You’re now the new couple on the block, and you’re convinced you’ve bagged the title of “best couple” as well. But to fantasize about being in love and to actually stay in love forever are often two very different things, as you’ll soon realize.
Staying in love forever isn’t quite like the movies make it out to be. In real life, the two star-crossed lovers might not always end up together. The mandatory “reunion” scene in the rain will only leave you two catching a cold the next day.
So, is love really all it takes to stay in love forever or is it a bit more complicated than that? With the help of psychologist Juhi Pandey (M.A. Psychology), who specializes in dating, premarital and breakup counseling, we bring you 8 keys to help you stay in love forever.
8 Keys To Stay In Love Forever
Among the list of the cutest things in the world that make people go “Aww!”, old couples who are still in love definitely rank high up there. But as they’ll tell you, to fall in love and stay in love are two completely different things. It’s easy to think you’ll always be happy with your partner when infatuation has a hold on you.
“Our relationship started with a bang. It was intense, fueled by lust and intimacy. We didn’t concern ourselves with things like how to stay in love forever and decided this intensity that flowed between us would always continue to do so. But when the four-month mark rolled around, the lust faded, the intensity died down, and the infidelity was the final nail in the coffin,” Jessica told us, talking about her karmic relationship that seemed like it would withstand the test of time.
When you’re in the midst of a new relationship, trying to think about how to stay in love forever seems futile since you feel so destined to always be with this person. Conversations about what’s okay and what isn’t rarely ever take place, since that’s not what all the romcoms told us love looks like.
According to surveys, around 70% of couples have not discussed what counts as infidelity in their relationship. Perhaps they never felt the need to, which might just blow up in their faces in the future. The point is, a relationship that lasts forever doesn’t necessarily look like the ones we’ve been shown all our lives.
An actual loving relationship involves a lot more work than the occasional hug in the rain that fixes everything in the movies. To stay in love with your partner isn’t something that just happens, it’s something you work toward every day. Just like monogamy is a choice you make every day.
If you want to make sure you grow old with the person you love, there’s much you can do to ensure yours is a loving, smooth sailing relationship. Staying in love isn’t all about how much you love your partner, it can be dictated by how well you two deal with the common relationship problems you will come across.
And no, just because you’ve decided to stay in love with one person forever, doesn’t mean that you will feel the same love toward them every single day. After those nasty confrontations, there will be days when you won’t want to look at your partner. To make sure a few arguments don’t get in the way of love, let’s get right into the 8 points we’ve listed out to help you figure out how do you stay in love with someone:
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1. Mutual respect
Juhi says, “Respect is at the core of any relationship. Once you start living together, differences are bound to come up. How much regard you give to those differences, or the belief system your partner holds, is what defines a relationship. If respect is not present, a relationship ceases to exist. ”
Signs of lack of respect in a relationship must be addressed immediately. If this issue gets worse, you may end up feeling undervalued and belittled every time your opinion isn’t even given the slightest bit of consideration. If there was a singular point to be picked to answer how to stay in love forever, it’d most likely be establishing mutual respect. Simple things like making your partner feel heard and not cutting them off when they’re talking to you can go a long way.
2. Continually support your partner at every step
According to Juhi, lack of support is a very common complaint she encounters when counseling married couples. “Support is what makes a relationship flourish. Lack of emotional or even physical support in terms of partners not helping around with household chores leads to a lot of conflicts. Support in all aspects of life is very important, especially in this era when women and men both have their professional commitments to take care of, ”she adds.
If your partner is taking up a new challenge, make sure they never feel alone. Whatever life throws at you, you two should be able to deal with it as a team. Keep the “every man for himself” mentality for game nights, not the relationship in general.
A relationship that lasts forever does so with the help of unwavering support. When you’ve been going through a rough patch, can you expect your partner to support you if you need some help? Is your partner the first person you call every time you need some help?
Affectionate gestures like bringing your partner their favorite comfort takeaway food when they’re feeling down or just being there to make them feel heard can all help your partner feel valued. You could even show affection through texts by sending a cute text here and there. PS: killing the spiders for your partner doesn’t really count as support. It will end up making staying in love a lot easier, though!
3. Showing interest in your partner
Once life is in full swing with work and other responsibilities taking the center stage, spending quality time with your partner may take a back seat. Without having any shared interest, you two might as well just be housemates living together. Cultivating common hobbies or exploring you can partake in as a couple can make staying in love forever a lot more fun than just talking about how your day was over dinner.
Juhi says, “Showing interest is important. It makes the person feel secure and loved. If you do not do or experience new things together, it makes the relationship very monotonous. That brings boredom in a relationship, which ultimately leads to unhappiness.”
Whether you’re trying to stay in love with your boyfriend or your girlfriend, you must never forget the fact that you’re always trying to get to know this person. It doesn’t matter if you’re a decade into your relationship, you must still try to ask the right questions that elicit a response interesting enough to give you a nugget of information you didn’t have before.
Over time, your hobbies may change or you may lose interest in the things you were once fond of. The gardening project on your balcony may be abandoned, the movie nights few and far in between. Here’s a hobby that shouldn’t be too hard to pick up: perhaps give wine tasting a try. Remember, it’s called wine tasting, not wine chugging.
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4. Sacrifice the occasional Sunday for your partner
It’s not always easy to sacrifice your personal time, but when your partner needs you to be there for them, you shouldn’t think twice before letting go of your plans to stay in bed all day. “Sacrifices in a relationship have been a very debatable topic. I feel, one has to make some sort of sacrifices to keep a relationship going but the most important thing is that it should be mutual. When done right, it is one of the basic essentials of any relationship,” says Juhi.
Staying in love forever is all about who gives up that last piece of brownie left in the fridge. If you’re always the one who’s giving it up, however, make sure your partner knows you’re expecting some sacrifices from their end too. “When the sacrifices are mutual, it makes the relationship strong, healthier, and long-lasting, ” adds Juhi.
“Every time someone asks me how my marriage has lasted almost three decades, I tell them if you want to stay in love with your husband, ditch the scorecard and try to do things just so you can see him smile. Kindness begets kindness, and compassion is what keeps a marriage alive,” Racquel, a 57-year-old mother of two told us.
5. Be wary of unrealistic expectations
“To stay in love” meaning can be as simple as making sure you don’t have any unrealistic expectations from your partner. “Unrealistically high expectations in any sphere of life are unhealthy and lead to unhappiness. Take, for instance, your work life. If you’re way too ambitious and have unrealistic expectations, you feel constantly disappointed by small misses and may not survive in the job, “ says Juhi.
“It’s the same with relationships as well. It’s natural to have some expectations if you love someone. But very high expectations or unrealistic ones will lead to unhappiness and an unhealthy relationship. A person has to use their own wisdom to draw a line and determine how to go about handling relationship expectations,” she adds.
Do you expect your partner to read your mind every time you’re upset? When they ask what happened, you can’t expect your silence to convey what they must know. Or maybe one of you expects grand gestures of affection, while the other runs far away from cliche romantic gestures.
When you want to stay in love with one person forever, you must not let the silent discontent of unmet expectations linger in the air. The only way to kill the elephant in the room is to address it. If you want your partner to get you a surprise cheesecake every now and then, let them know. If you want them to tell you they love you a little more often, let them know. Figuring out how to stay in love forever is often as simple as figuring out how to effectively communicate.
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6. Resolve conflicts maturely
“Like differences, conflicts are also part of every relationship,” says Juhi, “What’s important is the ability to resolve conflicts maturely, and that comes from mutual respect in the relationship. You must show respect and regard to the disagreements that arise in your relationship. The only way to resolve conflict is to be respectful.”
After ugly fights, it may be easy to let your emotions take over and say things in the heat of the moment that you may regret later. A dozen roses and back rub later, the animosity might waver but the memory of the hurtful comments will not. When you want to stay in love with your partner, it may seem like arguments are the evil you must avoid at all costs.
But since a relationship devoid of fights doesn’t exist, what’s important is to make sure you’re both capable of resolving your differences maturely. When mutual respect is truly achieved in any relationship, conflict resolution will become that much easier as well. Staying in love is a choice, and it’s truly put to the test when the worst fights happen. What matters most is how you’ll go about solving them.
7. Tell your partner you love them
“If positive thinking, regard, respect, and support are all established, other things ultimately take place on their own,” says Juhi, on how important it is to voice your love toward your partner.
“If you want to stay in love with your boyfriend and you want him to stay in love with you, tell him you love him more than you think you need to. Men often shy away from telling their partners how much they require reassurance. From my experience, they require a lot of it. So make sure you let your man know you’re grateful he’s in your life,” notes Kelina, a 30-year-old architect, who has been dating her boyfriend Jason for over half a decade.
Telling your partner you love them at a random moment is a great way of showing affection. As the years go by in a relationship, you may stop with the cute ways in which you two express your love for each other. Romance will be at a minimum since you’re content with the way things are and don’t see a need to make an effort to make them better.
However, to fall in love and stay in love, being affectionate and romantic toward your partner is a lifetime activity, not something you used to do when you first started going out. Don’t let monotony in a relationship dictate how often you surprise hug your partner.
8. Never take the relationship for granted
“A good relationship is what makes one happy and healthy,” says Juhi, “You may have many difficulties in life but a healthy relationship can help you feel at ease. In the absence of a fulfilling relationship, everything goes for a toss. To make sure you don’t take your relationship for granted, you have to remind yourself that it is perhaps the most important thing in your life.”
Taking a relationship for granted can happen over time when couples start thinking that no more work needs to be put into it. When trying to figure out how do you stay in love with someone, the answer can simply be that a relationship requires constant attention and work.
Whether you’re trying to stay in love with your husband or with your wife, you must make sure there’s an equal amount of effort from both ends. Just because you’re comfortable enough to pop each other’s back acne doesn’t mean you can’t be romantic.
Falling in love with someone is often something that happens naturally, out of your control. Staying in love is a choice that’s affected by how much work you’re willing to put into the relationship. To make sure you stay in love forever, these 8 keys listed out by our expert Juhi Pandey will help you achieve your relationship goals, so you can flaunt them on your social media and make all the other couples jealous.
Yes, it’s possible to stay in love with someone forever. But it’s important to note that the type of love you feel toward a person changes from an intense and passionate yearning to something that is more relaxed and revolves around compassion and empathy. To stay in love with someone forever, you must follow all the fundamentals of building a healthy relationship with someone.
Perhaps the only way to stay in love with someone forever is by choosing to do so. If your relationship isn’t damaging your mental or physical health, and you wake up each day and choose to be kind, affectionate and loving to your partner, you choose to stay in love.